Introduction: Liberty Vs. License

Randy E. Barnett

in The Structure of Liberty

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780198297291
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598777 | DOI:
Introduction: Liberty Vs. License

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This chapter places the arguments of the rest of the book into philosophical context. It distinguishes between liberty and licence, identifies the natural law method of given‐if‐then reasoning, and distinguishes natural law ethics from natural rights. It argues that a respect for natural rights contributes to the obligatoriness of positive law. This ‘hypothetical imperative’ form of argument is identified as consequentialist but not utilitarian.

Keywords: consequentialism; ethics; hypothetical imperative; liberty; license; natural law; natural rights; positive law; utilitarianism

Chapter.  13993 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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